Well, the University of Oregon might disagree with you about the PDP-7.  They ran the DECsys monitor, which ISTR  was the first such software product from DEC outside the 36-bit line (the PDP-6 and -7 were introduced in the same year).  U of O took delivery of their -7 in 1966 and it saw active service for at least three decades, with over thirty doctorates earned based on research performed on the system.  Hardly useless.... 

It's always been a bit of a mystery to me why Thompson and Ritchie decided they needed to write a new executive - UNICS - rather than use DECsys.  True, DECsys isn't anything to shout about and Unix is clearly more useful - but IMHO Spacewar! could have been coded in the DECsys 'environment'.  I infer that they saw broader utility and application in a more capable executive - which obviously turned out to be true! 

The U of O PDP-7 is the one currently residing at the Living Computer Museum (I used to maintain it). 

And what's wrong with OS/8?  Minimal, yes - what do you want, Windows Vista?  :-)   - Ian

Sent from my android device.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
To: Gregg Levine <gregg.drwho8@gmail.com>
Cc: tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org
Sent: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Happy birthday, core dumped

Gregg Levine scripsit:

> I know I've seen the Star system rig before. But the Xerox Alto one is
> new to me. Wasn't the PDP-7 the fellow where UNIX really got its start
> on before they moved it to a PDP-11?

It was.  The 18-bit systems were the red-headed stepchild of the DEC world.
The PDP-1, PDP-4, and PDP-7 systems had no DEC-supplied operating system,
and the PDP-9 only a minimal one, about like OS/8.  Not until the terminal
18-bit system, the PDP-15, were PDP-11 class operating systems provided.
Consequently, the Bell Labs PDP-7 was essentially useless.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
Awk!" sed Grep. "A fscking python is perloining my Ruby; let me bash
    him with a Cshell!  Vi didn't I mount it on a troff?" --Francis Turner
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